Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Twitter to the rescue

When it rains it pours; the world was in a recession the stock market in Nigeria had collapsed and we had lost a president and were in a state of flux waiting for elections .

Yet the price of raw materials kept going up squeezing already tight margins and the competition refused to raise prices , choosing instead in some cases to drop quality

Betting on the power of our brand we increased prices in line with raw material increases to protect our margins

Tightened our belts to deal with the loss of turnover

And with the lull in sales we had time give the business a good look. We had always read voraciously about business and economics and kept up to date on best practice etc and then twitter entered into our lives!

Twitter was indeed a revelation all of a sudden we had this amazing resource, this pool of people to learn from, we followed a broad range of specialists and a chance comment would send us on our next journey .

White label! was the comment made while discussing branding , it would stick in our consciousness until we had to do something about it. At first this sounded like rubbish why would you white label a product that depends almost entirely on the power of your brand to sell ? but slowly it became clear that the brand and the product needed to be differentiated

We already had a product list as long as my arm and we knew their were several tiers in the market for quality and prices we decided to play all fields as it said on our twitter page “we make paint”

By commoditising our product we decided to be Toyota instead of being a Rolls Royce we would make products to fit every criteria from price to quality streamlining our product list to compete with the cheapest in price ensuring we were at the entry point and not shut out , and also the best in quality .Power resides with the customers , so let the customer choose.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Good design

Reduce Reuse Recycle

A new logo was required to simplify things. As we had grown ,and developed, all the new products they had mostly been launched with adhoc eagle images coupled together by the in house team.

We needed new signage for billboards, vehicle, and print adverts; one logo to bind us and set us free was the cry..... and the brief went out for something that expressed our philosophy ,was universal across our product range and still kept our traditions going strong . We stumbled on a company by chanceNiNor architects who where just branching into logo design /branding they were perfect great professional and intune with our way of thinking which meant they could understand our brief rapidly.

The new logo was a huge success gathering many nicknames immediately my personal favourite being the Jesus eagle (because it looked like a cross ) it also looked great on tshirts and all promotional material it showed we were open for business welcoming accommodating and serious ,it also inspired us to think out of the box. Instead of just printing the same logo on different coloured buckets we decided to take a good look at the problem of packaging inventory which was becoming a bother , the price of a container had sky rocketed with the price of crude oil and now accounted for a whooping 10% of the product cost more in some case’s ,added to this was the inventory we had to keep for the various brands which resulted in quite a lot of capital being tied down .

We came up with a novel way to solve this problem we would develop a translucent container with an opaque colored nylon bag which once filled was heat sealed and held the paint. In this way the;

1, containers were universal solving our inventory problem

2, we could keep the color association with the brands keeping customer loyalty without diluting the brand

3, the seal sorted out adulteration problems , the finish product also looked good enough to lick .

4, the Containers and the Nylon sleeves are recyclable helping the bottom line while making us look good and showing we cared

We were almost back at the table , we were rolling the economy was booming and everything seemed to be going fine , wrong the world was in a recession and it was about to come home to bite us the banking system would all but collapse at the same time as the political system would freeze up .

The market was about to test our resolve and we were ready